Tuesday, 26 February 2013 13:35
A fishy tale worth its five stars
Review by: DAVID BURTON, 15 September 2012
Barbieca Ortega (1857-1936) was a prodigious fisherman and fabulous chef who lived on Isla de Pez, an island off the coast of Venezuela.
In 1887 he opened Ortega Fish Shack & Bar in an abandoned fisherman's cottage, the fame of which soon spread among the international yachting community.
Thursday, 20 May 2010 09:08
Word on the Street
Review by: Sarah Bennett, 19 May 2010
Those who have fine-dined around Wellington over the last couple of decades will no doubt remember the Roxburgh Bistro and Café Bastille, two top-enders that for some time occupied neighbouring premises on Majoribanks Street. Both were born of Mark and Helen Limacher, who by 2005 had shucked themselves off these restaurants to take a sabbatical that involved house painting, family time, and marathons for Mark. On Guy Fawkes Night 2009 they stoked their fire back up at Ortega Fish Shack, in the building where Bastille used to be.
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 09:03
Cuisine Magazine - March 2010
Review by David Burton
Just as corporate executives ride Harley-Davidsons at the weekend to prove they are colourful and rebellious at heart, so they seem to revel in the illusion of louche bohemianism when they dine out.
Hence the well-heeled crowds descending on the wittily shabby-chic Ortega Fish Shack Bar, enjoying in a casual, off-duty way the same sort of nosh for which they would be milking their company account big time at an uptight fine-dining temple.
Although the “shack” opened only just before Christmas, designer Libby Beattie and architect Alan Bulleyment have created the semblance of a timeworn bohemian beachcomber café, run by several generations of rough diamonds: you are even led down the garden path by a tall story to this effect (“Why Ortega?”) posted both on their website and on the wall on the stairs leading up to the loos.
The first few paragraphs of “Why Ortega?” seem quite credible; only later do you recognise it as an amusing hoax. So I had to smile when a woman at a nearby table returned from the loo and solemnly began to bore her friends with aspects of the “history”.
Thursday, 04 February 2010 19:06
Dominion Post- Indulgence. 26th December 2009
Review by David Burton
A new eatery kitted out with a faux bohemian history, is actually a classy hangout for lawyers in suits.
Ortega fish shack ought by rights, to have existed for generations, renowned the world over as a hangout for hobo yachties and rag-tailed seafarers.
If any of them managed to stray this far from Wellingtons waterfront, they would probably see the “Gaugin” on the stairs and believe the legend that it depicts the original Ortega Fish Shack on the remote “Isla de Pez” off Venezuela, opened by the son of a renegade French émigré, who was forced to flee after having seduced a lady of the royal court.
Isn’t this already sounding suspiciously similar to the Duke Carvell hoax, perpetrated by those naughty Bresolin Brothers in Swan Lane?
The wall plaque continues: “In 1936, Hermann Goring travelled sectretly to Isla de Pez on a chartered Deutche [sic] Lufthansa plane”.
Friday, 11 December 2009 13:38
Restaurant Review By Stephen Clarke - Regional Wine & Spirits
Ortega Fish Shack And Bar
16 Majoribanks Street, Mt Victoria, Wellington, Tel: (04) 382-9559
The Ortega Fish Shack and Bar is a new and vibrant eatery on Majoribanks Street at the previous Café Bastille site. Majoribanks has had a history of well-known and respected establishments and I can say that Ortego will only add to the reputation. Davey McDonald and Anna Limacher (daughter of Mark Limacher, of Roxburgh Bistro fame) recently took over the site and have refurbished it with the input of designer Libby Bettie, Alan Bulleyment Architect and Bullet-proof Construction. The refit has resulted in an “eclectic, funky beach feel”, with shades of the San Francisco waterfront of yesteryear, and this, in the heart of Wellington city! The attention to detail is superb and subtle, from the wave-like flow of the wooden slat ceiling above the dining space which cleverly references the sea and the pastel sandstone tiles which recall warm beach resorts.